21 March 2019

Secondary school students have 75% better score thanks to university student guidance

Maastricht University students have helped secondary school students improve their school performance significantly. The students’ total went from 92 to 23 minus points over a period of 3 months. “These results are almost shocking” according to project leader Michelle van Mulken. The majority of the students (90%) came from VMBO Maastricht, while the other 10% came from Porta Mosana and Sint-Maartenscollege Havo and VWO.

Match for Brighter Futures
University students and secondary school students participated in the project Match for Brighter Futures, initiated by Match Maastricht. The university students have an inspiring and coaching role, next to helping the secondary school students with their homework and showing them how to learn. They try to inspire the secondary school students, encourage them to discover their dreams and ambitions, so they can act on making these dreams come true. The project, already a success in its pilot phase, proves the strength of personal guidance of older youths in a “buddy” role.

Positive
The majority of the secondary school students responded very positively to the university students’ guidance. One of them spoke about the bond with her guide, who motivated her to improve her school performance: “We have a nice bond, not like with a teacher. It is not like oh no not tutoring again! I really want to go. It is always fun.” Another secondary school student spoke about how a listening ear proved to be very valuable to him: “It is really nice I can talk to Lars about things that bother me. I can tell him about things that happened at school or at home.”  Parents are full of enthusiasm as well. A father: “The project helped him improve his homework; he had a better understanding of everything and had things in order more often.” The mother of another secondary school student said her daughter also improved in other areas. “She can plan ahead now and learn better. She has also become more confident and it shows.”

Continuation
The project Match for Brighter Futures will continue their work in cooperation with the schools. They are looking for a collaboration with Trajekt, Code043 and other organisations who work with youths for personal development and growth, based on the needs and ambitions of Maastricht’s youths.